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Northeast Atlantic Mackerel fisheries
Fishery  Fact Sheet
Management report 2018
Northeast Atlantic Mackerel fisheries
Fact Sheet Citation  
Mackerel
Owned byNorth-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC) – more>>

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Overview: The main pelagic stocks in the NEAFC Regulatory Area are exploited by large trawlers-purse seiners from all the Contracting Parties of NEAFC. The fleets move with the season between the three main stocks and the waters under national jurisdiction and the Regulatory Area. Consultations on conservation and management are held by the relevant coastal States for areas under national jurisdiction and by NEAFC for the high seas. Conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC take account of any coastal State agreement. Scientific advice is provided by ICES. NEAFC is not involved in any scientific work. The NEAFC Contracting Parties have stressed that they consider it important to maintain a “clear separation between the scientific role of ICES and the policy and management role of NEAFC” (see report of the 2015 Extraordinary Meeting of NEAFC http://www.neafc.org/system/files/EM-2015-Report-final.pdf). This NEAFC fact sheet will therefore not comment on scientific work or scientific assessments. The ICES advice on which the 2018 NEAFC conservation and management measures are based can be found on the ICES website http://ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2017/2017/mac.27.nea.pdf The ICES advice on which the 2019 NEAFC conservation and management measures will be based can be found on the ICES website (http://ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2018/2018/mac.27.nea.pdf). In recent years, there have been difficulties in reaching an agreement on allocation among the coastal States, and thereby on allocation among the NEAFC Contracting Parties. This has resulted in conservation and management measures not being comprehensive. There has furthermore been disagreement on the approach to be applied in concluding on the level of total allowable catches.

Location of Northeast Atlantic Mackerel fisheries
 

Geographic reference:  Northeast Atlantic
Spatial Scale: Regional
Reference year: 2018
Approach: Fishery Management Unit

Jurisdictional framework
Management Body/Authority(ies): North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)
Mandate: Management; Monitoring;
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Area of Competence: NEAFC Convention Area

Harvested Resource
Target Species: Atlantic mackerel
Fishery Area: Northeast Atlantic; Rockall, Northwest …; Irish Sea, West …; Bay of Biscay …; Bay of Biscay …;
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Harvested Resource
Type of production system: Industrial   

Fishery Area
Climatic zone: Temperate.   Vertical distribution: Pelagic.  

Geo References for: Northeast Atlantic
Fishing Gear
Trawls
Purse seines
Fleet segment
Flag State
Faroe Islands
Greenland
European Union
Iceland
Norway
Russian Federation

The main pelagic stocks in the NEAFC Regulatory Area are exploited by large trawlers-purse seiners from all the Contracting Parties of NEAFC. The fleets move with the season between the three main stocks and the waters under national jurisdiction and the Regulatory Area.
Seasonality
All year round.
Ecosystem Assessment
 
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF FISHERIES

The fisheries are not conducted by vessel using bottom contacting gear.

There are not significant levels of bycatches in the fisheries.

NEAFC’s request to ICES for scientific advice reads in part as follows:

”The recurring advice shall include information on the state of marine ecosystems and human impacts including historical developments in main parameters and information on the present state and recent development of stocks. The recurrent advice shall provide information on state of stocks and fisheries including - when available - historical developments in spawning stock biomass, total stock biomass, fishing mortality as well as landings and discards in the NEAFC regulatory area and within EEZs.”

“When providing its advice regarding fisheries ICES shall take account of all available information and the context of fisheries management including information from the fishing industry, ecosystem considerations, environment and hydrographical conditions, regulations in force that affect fisheries, factors affecting fishing operations and information about the fisheries, development of fisheries technology and relevant performance changes and other relevant factors that affect fishing or fish stocks.”

“If agreed management plans or recovery plans exist which ICES does not consider in accordance with the criteria defined in the NEAFC Convention or if no agreed management plans exist, ICES shall advice on management measures (including options for management plans) which ICES finds in accordance with the NEAFC Convention. If significantly different, the advice shall be given separately for a risk avoidance approach, based on the Precautionary Approach, and an MSY approach within the limitations of the Precautionary Approach. The short term implications of such measures shall be provided.”

“The advice shall be based on an ecosystem approach. This will be implemented incrementally so that any information on the interactions between fisheries, the fish stocks and the marine ecosystem is considered and incorporated in the advice as it becomes available; specifically, taking ecosystem and environmental considerations into account when providing the recurring advice mentioned above, ICES will:

Assess the extent to which fishing disturbs the marine ecosystems and, where reference levels have been established, compare the impact to the reference level chosen.

Provide any new information regarding the impact of fisheries on other components of the ecosystem including small cetaceans and other marine mammals, sea birds and sensitive habitats.

Inform NEAFC of any notable impact of other factors on and imbalances in ecosystem structure that may prejudice the stocks of commercially valuable species and its long term exploitation;

Propose reference points as guidance for management purposes in an ecosystem context.

ICES will in addition give warnings of any serious threats from fishing activities alone or in conjunction with any other relevant activity to local ecosystems or species as soon as ICES is aware of such threats.”

The full request for advice will be available on the NEAFC website from February 2019 (https://www.neafc.org/system/files/AM-2018-91_Request-to-ICES-for-advice_FINAL.pdf)


Management
Management unit: Yes

Jurisdictional framework
The fishery is regulated under NEAFC jurisdictional framework / management regime as reported in the Northeast Atlantic - NEAFC high seas fisheries.
Management Body/Authority(ies): North-East Atlantic Fisheries Commission (NEAFC)
Area of Competence: NEAFC Convention Area
Mandate: Management; Monitoring; Control and surveillance.  
NEAFC Convention Area. Courtesy of NEAFC
Related Fisheries - Management System
Northeast Atlantic NEAFC high seas fisheries

Fisheries for mackerel in 2018 are managed through legally binding conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC, Recommendation 4/2018 (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec_04_Mackerel.pdf).

There was not agreement on the level that total allowable catches should be set at, nor on allocation among the parties. The management measures oblige the parties to set catch limits for their fleets and notify them to NEAFC.

NEAFC’s Permanent Committee on Monitoring and Compliance reports annually to the NEAFC Commission on compliance by the Contracting Parties with Recommendations adopted by NEAFC. The latest such compliance report, relating to the year 2017, can be found on the NEAFC website from February 2019 (https://www.neafc.org/system/files/AM-2018-39-Rev2_2017_Compliance_Report.pdf).




History
All previous conservation and management measures can be found on the NEAFC website (https://www.neafc.org/managing_fisheries/measures/historic).
Status of Management
Assessment Summary
Scientific advice is provided by ICES. NEAFC is not involved in any scientific work. The NEAFC Contracting Parties have stressed that they consider it important to maintain a “clear separation between the scientific role of ICES and the policy and management role of NEAFC” (see report of the 2015 Extraordinary Meeting of NEAFC http://www.neafc.org/system/files/EM-2015-Report-final.pdf). This NEAFC fact sheet will therefore not comment on scientific work or scientific assessments. The ICES advice on which the latest NEAFC conservation and management measures will be based can be found on the ICES website (http://ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2018/2018/mac.27.nea.pdf).
Resources Assessed
Assessment advice provided by ICES: Mackerel - West European Basin and Norwegian Sea.
Negotiation Process
Consultations on conservation and management are held by the relevant coastal States for areas under national jurisdiction and by NEAFC for the high seas. Conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC take account of any coastal State agreement.
Management Resolutions
Fisheries for mackerel in 2018 are managed through legally binding conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC, Recommendation 4/2018 (http://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec_04_Mackerel.pdf).

There was not agreement on the level that total allowable catches should be set at, nor on allocation among the parties. The management measures oblige the parties to set catch limits for their fleets and notify them to NEAFC.
Management Problems
In recent years, there have been difficulties in reaching an agreement on allocation among the coastal States, and thereby on allocation among the NEAFC Contracting Parties. This has resulted in conservation and management measures not being comprehensive. There has furthermore been disagreement on the approach to be applied in concluding on the level of total allowable catches.
Management Regime
Management Methods

CONSERVATION AND MANAGEMENT MEASURES - Binding

This fishery is regulated by TACs and allocations, although there have been difficulties in reaching an agreement on both if these in recent years.

COMPLIANCE MEASURES - Binding

The fishery is monitored and controlled according to the NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement (https://www.neafc.org/scheme/contents). This includes inter alia a vessel monitoring system, regular catch reporting, inspections at sea and port state control.
Source of Information
 
Information provided by the NEAFC Secretariat.

Sources referred to in this fact sheet are (in the order they are referred to):
Report of the 2015 Extraordinary Meeting of NEAFC. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/EM-2015-Report-final.pdf
ICES advice on which the latest NEAFC conservation and management measures will be based (for 2018 and 2019). Click to openhttp://ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2017/2017/mac.27.nea.pdf Click to openhttp://ices.dk/sites/pub/Publication%20Reports/Advice/2018/2018/mac.27.nea.pdf
NEAFC’s request to ICES for scientific advice will be available on the NEAFC website from February 2019 Click to openhttps://www.neafc.org/system/files/AM-2018-91_Request-to-ICES-for-advice_FINAL.pdf
Recommendation 4/2018 on Conservation and Management Measures for Mackerel in the NEAFC Regulatory Area for 2018. Click to openhttp://www.neafc.org/system/files/Rec_04_Mackerel.pdf
Historic conservation and management measures adopted by NEAFC. Click to openhttps://www.neafc.org/managing_fisheries/measures/historic
The NEAFC Scheme of Control and Enforcement.  Click to openhttps://www.neafc.org/scheme/contents
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